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NDHM: Govt frames draft policy on data privacy

National Digital Health Mission

In an endeavour to secure confidential health data collected from people under the National Digital Health Mission(NDHM), the government has proposed a framework.

It has also proposed  a set of minimum standards for data privacy protection to be followed across the board in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

The NDHM was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of 74th Independence Day. The National Health Authority (NHA), which has been entrusted to design and implement the digital disruption across the country, has already released the draft ‘Health Data Management Policy’ in the public domain.

The document has been put up on the official website of National Digital Health Mission seeking comments and feedback from the public till September 3, a PTI report said. The draft policy mainly seeks to set out a framework for “secure processing of personal and sensitive personal data of individuals” who are a part of the national digital health ecosystem.

Also read: NDHM gets a thumbs up from the experts, wants successful implementation

Indu Bhushan, the Chief Executive Officer of NHA , was quoted as saying by the report, “The Draft Health Data Management Policy is the maiden step in realizing NDHM’s guiding principle of ‘Security and Privacy by Design’ for the protection of individuals’ data privacy. “It encompasses various aspects of health data like data privacy, consent management, data sharing and protection among others,” the officer said.

The provisions of this policy shall apply to the entities involved in the NDHM and those who area part of the NDHE, that includes all entities and individuals who have been issued an ID under this policy, healthcare professionals, governing bodies of the health ministry, the NHA, relevant professional bodies and regulators.

Highlighting the significance of the policy and its potential impact, Bhushan said, “The government is working to ensure strong privacy of health data and therefore, we are circulating the Draft Health Data Management Policy of NDHM to increase awareness on the importance of data privacy and instil a privacy-oriented mindset among all stakeholders and participants of the ecosystem.” “I look forward to feedback, suggestions and inputs from experts and members of the general public to help us finalise the policy and make the implementation of the mission stronger and more effective.”

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